LA-based phenomenon Handsome Coffee is one of the city's premier coffee bars and roasters. Founded by three gentlemen that believe in craftsmanship and quality over convenience and cost, Handsome Coffee shares our love of elevating the simple things in life. Handsome Coffee founders -- Tyler Wells, Michael Phillips, and Chris Owens -- lead TRUFFL through the coffee experience from sourcing the finest coffee beans to tasting.
MR. WELLS: Hey, I’m Tyler Wells; we are hanging out at Handsome Coffee Roasters in Downtown LA with TRUFFL. Our philosophy here at Handsome’s is pretty straight forward: we make great coffee, and we are trying to provide a community venue for people to come down, gather, enjoy a great beverage, a little bit of conversation, have a good time. There’s a philosophy to our roasting where we just roast the coffee to get what’s in it, out of it, and then as a barista, to brew the coffee, the trick is to not mess it up. You’ve really got to really let the coffee shine through and the ingredients shine.
MR. OWENS: My name is Chris Owens, co-founder of Handsome Coffee Roasters and Director of Coffee. The roasting process starts with 1956 Probat UG92 – because in our option, that’s the best coffee roaster that we can buy. You can kind of think of it as a giant clothes dryer, with a lot of heat under it. It is made out of cast iron. So the coffee goes in that drum and the drum is rotating, heat from underneath and air moving through it and that’s how we control the roast parameters. You can do any number of things with the air and the heat, all the different forms of heat, and all of that is going to create a different cut profile. We like to stay on the sort of lighter end of the spectrum as it provides a little bit more fruit forward, savory characteristics – where the more roast orientated you get sort of more "carbony" smoky flavors. Which is just the stylistic choice for us.
MR. PHILLIPS: My name is Michael Phillips, I’m a co-founder of Handsome Coffee Roasters and 2010 World Barista Champion. The most popular drink that we have at Handsome Coffee is the Espresso and Milk in a 5 oz Cup -- it’s that right balance between espresso and properly textured milk. Now you want to make sure that when you dose the coffee in, you have a scale ready, so you get just that right exact amount that you are looking for. In everything we do, we’re creating a nice even density, all the way throughout the puck, so you can extract that coffee evenly. As the shot's pulling, it’s pretty easy to tell visually how it’s doing; you want to see it start off: nice dark, thin streams and then you’ll see this color change because the extraction keeps going further and getting a little bit lighter. Once you have a really great shot of espresso, you want to make sure the milk is textured to the proper thickness of froth and that it is at the right temperature. Perch the steam on to clean it off and then tap that pitcher of milk on the counter – settling out any large bubbles. After that, you give it a little swirl – which will polish the milk up, so it’s nice and shiny. Then it’s all just a matter of combining the two together. A proper pour is a nice finishing touch, combining the espresso and milk. And that’s how you have a really well polished tasty delicious, five ounce espresso and milk.